Welcome, Guest

Author Topic: My failures  (Read 466 times)

Offline Bill Murray

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 330
  • Gender: Male
My failures
« on: November 20, 2022, 11:13:41 am »
So, as the year comes to an end I thought I would give a list of the failures I have discovered in my management techniques.

Mites: As the war rages on I just couldn?t understand why some hives came out on top, some were staying stagnate, and some were completely losing the battle. I have been given all sorts of reasoning?s from multiple people that would fill this page.

Conclusion: I moved to 11 frames in a 10 frame hive 3 to 4 years ago, it?s a huge win for overwintering and spring buildup with our mild short winters. The downfall, is when you install apivar/apistan strips (This is just theory at this point) the bees had to remove all the wax to be able to move past the frame and the strip (both these treatments are contact treatments and the efficacy diminishes with time. Again, just a theory. Because I don?t know how long it takes those bees to tear down the wax on each side of the strip, and it is probably different with each colony.  But going into fall this year I had huge mite loads in boxes that were 11 frame hives and minimal in 10 frame.  Anyhow a friend of mine said try thymol.(thanks to him for him for our conversations) I have stayed away from this treatment due to horror stories associated with it and my own ignorance in listening to those stories. As an experiment I treated 22 hives, all had 11 frames, some were doubles some were singles and 2 nucs. Some had 2-3 drop some had 5-10 drop, and some were doomed.
 
The outcome after 3 weeks of low dose treatment was 0 drop in all but the doomed group. Most of them didn?t have enough bees to check, but the ones that did were down to 3-5 drop. Queen loss was 3 in all but the doomed colonies, and I lost all queens except 2 in those. They were all 3 year queens except the 2 I didn?t lose( 1 was a first year and 1 was a second.)

That brings me to queens:  4 years ago I promised myself I would never buy another queen. Acceptance rate of purchased queens was below 80%, and just a figure looking over my notes 40% of those were superseded, also I was re-queening every year. since I started using my own stock   Ive been pushing those queens to the threshold I guess just trying to see how long they will last.  Long story short from spring of year 0 to fall of year 2. Some make it to year 3 but late in the fall they try and supersede mostly to no avail. I will give a thank you to Mr. Bush for the words that will stick in my head forever,? how do you know that you have the same queen if you don?t mark her.?
 
Conclusion:  I will be re-queening all colonies every 2 years, with my own queens. And marking.

Equipment: this is twofold. One has to do with small hive beetles and one with painting. What has to be understood here is I live in Fla.

First the plastic frames are nothing but hive beetle hotels due to the way they are constructed. I will never buy another. Second I really like the jester nuc boxes they are cheap, light and store easily. This year I tried to keep 20 nucs through the year in them to keep from having to build nuc boxes. Total FAIL. Even with huge populations of bees come summer to many nooks and crannies for beetles . Ill build nuc boxes.

Screened bottom boards: In my opinion nothing but a way for the Florida carpenter ant to infest a hive (tray out) If you have the time and inclination to clean a tray every 3 to 4 days more power to you.(and if your doing that why do you have them? )Havnt used them for years except in a pinch and always have issues,  I see no reason for them.

On to all woodenware: I painted and repaired diligently every year. Woodenware was lasing 3-5 years. I bit the bullet this summer and went to dipping, hasn?t been long enough to give a long term opinion but so far I am extremely impressed with the outcome.

Beeyards and pallets: I am in the transition phase of moving all my colonies onto solid bottom boards that will be on a two-way pallet. I am shelving the 4 ways without an integral solid bottom board, except when needed for pollination. I find this as much easier and time efficient way to deal with the bees, in production yards.

My ex father-in-law was a pretty successful cattle rancher in new mexico, and a lot of what I learned from that experience in my life I try to incorporate into my bee management. He had good years and bad years, tried different approaches ? some worked some failed. What works for one person dosnt always work for another even if your in the neighboring sections. Same as bees just 3 miles down or up the road your situation may be totally different and you adjust your management practices.

Anyway reflection time over. All in all not a bad year but certainly not my best. Remember a failure is only a failure if you dont learn something from it.
And in closing: May the saddest day of your future be no worse. than the happiest day of your past.

Offline TheHoneyPump

  • Queen Bee
  • ****
  • Posts: 1381
  • Work Hard. Play Harder.
My failures
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2022, 01:35:07 pm »
   When the bees are tucked in and resting through Nov/Dec - that is the time the serious beekeepers take to reflect on all their successes/failures and take those learnings forward into the plan for the next season.  Awesome.
When the lid goes back on, the bees will spend the next 3 days undoing most of what the beekeeper just did to them.

Online The15thMember

  • Global Moderator
  • Galactic Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 3044
  • Gender: Female
  • Traveler of the Multiverse, Seeker of Knowledge
Re: My failures
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2022, 02:06:48 pm »
   When the bees are tucked in and resting through Nov/Dec - that is the time the serious beekeepers take to reflect on all their successes/failures and take those learnings forward into the plan for the next season.  Awesome.
I completely agree.

Remember a failure is only a failure if you dont learn something from it.
This.  This is so important for not only beekeepers but people to remember.  It's something we all struggle with at times, but that resiliency is what keeps you moving forward and not stuck looking backward. 

Thanks for sharing all that with us Bill.  I think it's really helpful not only for experienced beekeepers, who can learn from what you learned from, but it's also really good to show the newbees that this is a never-ending learning process.  Everyone, no matter their experience level is still evolving in their skills and operation to become more efficient, more knowledgeable, and more successful.  And both short-term successes and failures contribute to that progress.  The goal is not to get it all perfect the first time, or even the first twenty times.  The goal is to learn so we can become better the next time. 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Online Michael Bush

  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 18652
  • Gender: Male
    • bushfarms.com
Re: My failures
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2022, 07:17:43 am »
Apistan and Checkmite haven't worked for more than 20 years due to mite resistance to the chemicals.
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin

Offline Acebird

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 7652
  • Gender: Male
  • No longer keeping bees
Re: My failures
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2022, 08:57:25 am »
Apistan and Checkmite haven't worked for more than 20 years due to mite resistance to the chemicals.
IMV most pesticides don't work for the same reason.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it

Offline Bill Murray

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 330
  • Gender: Male
Re: My failures
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2022, 10:30:43 am »
well this year was a battle. Not going to get into a huge treatment discussion. But they work unless they dont work. It  just seemed I fought my way through the whole year on multiple fronts/issues, not just mites. Reason I just had to sit down the other day and lament on where I could pull it all back  together, retool, rethink, and move forward, without shooting from the hip all the time like it seemed I did this year.


Offline Ben Framed

  • Global Moderator
  • Galactic Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 9473
  • Mississippi Zone 7
Re: My failures
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2022, 10:41:35 am »
Thanks for sharing Bill...

Phillip
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV